Social Constructivism in Translator Education: The Stakeholders’ Needs Assessment
Keywords:ranslation Pedagogy, Needs Assessment, Social Constructivism, Authenticity, Collaboration, Scaffolding
The present survey-based study aimed at investigating the principles of social constructivist education in undergraduate translator training programs in Iran. To this aim, a needs assessment was conducted to identify market demands and students’ needs for three constructivist principles of authenticity, collaboration and scaffolding. Translation instructors, as the third group of stakeholders, were further surveyed about their teaching approach in terms of the three categories. To find out whether current translation education in Iran reflects market demands and students’ needs with respect to the mentioned constructivist concepts, the results of the surveys were then compared. Upon data analysis, it became evident that scaffolding, indicating students as responsible learners and teachers providing adequate support for the formers’ learning, was the most important principle for the first two groups of participants. Scaffolding was similarly described by translation instructors as the most common principle in their teaching approach. On the other hand, while professional translators and students consider authenticity as the second most important principle, it was profoundly lacking in the teaching approach university instructors take. Therefore, the results suggest that there is a big gap between the current and the desired situation in Iranian undergraduate translator training programs for the principle of “authenticity”, i.e. working on real translation projects with students taking various roles reflecting the real professional translation practice. The demographic information elicited from the surveys also provided evidence for this lacking connection between academia and professional translation practice in Iran.
Adams, P. (2006). Exploring Social Constructivism: Theories and Practicalities. Journal of Education, 34 (3).
Baer, B.J. and Koby, G.S. (2003). Beyond The Ivory Tower: Rethinking Translation Pedagogy. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Farahzad, F. (2018). General Specifications, Curricula and Lesson Plan for Bachelor’s Program in English Language Translation. Iranian Ministry of Science, Education and Technology.
Gabr, M. (2001). Toward A Model Approach to Translation Curriculum Development. Translation Journal, 5 (2).
Glasersfeld, E. von (1984). An Introduction to Radical Constructivism. In Watzlawick, P. (Ed.). The Invented Reality. New York: Norton.
Jonassen, D. (1991). Objectivism vs. Constructivism: Do We Need a New Philosophical Paradigm? Educational Technology, Research and Development, 39 (3).
Kelly, D. (2008). Training the Trainers: Towards a Description of Translator Trainer Competence and Training Needs Analysis. TTR (Traduction, Terminologie, Rédaction), 21 (1).
Kelly, D. (2014). A Handbook for Translator Trainers: A Guide to Reflective Practice. Routledge.
Kiraly, D. (1995). Pathways to Translation. Pedagogy and Process. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press.
Kiraly, D. (2000). A Social Constructivist Approach to Translator Education: Empowerment from Theory to Practice. St. Jerome Publishing.
Labbas, R. (2013). Epistemology in Education: Epistemological Development Trajectory. Journal of International Education and Leadership, 3 (2).
Li, D. (2000). Needs Assessment in Translation Teaching: Making Translator Training More Responsive to Social Needs. Babel, 46 (4).
Olusegun, S. (2015). Constructivism Learning Theory: A Paradigm for Teaching and Learning. IOSR Journal of Research and Method in Education, 5 (6).
Taylor, P.C. (2014). Constructivism. In Gunstone, R. (Ed.). Encyclopedia of Science Education. Springer.
The Comprehensive Scientific Map of Iran (2010). http://www.urmia.ac.ir/sites/www.urmia.ac.ir/files/%D8%B3%D9%86%D8%AF%20%D9%86%D9%82%D8%B4%D9%87%20%D8%AC%D8%A7%D9%85%D8%B9%20%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%85%DB%8C%20%DA%A9%D8%B4%D9%88%D8%B1.pdf.
The EMT Translator Trainer Profile Competences of the trainer in translation (2013). Version 12. http://docplayer.net/14445272-The-emt-translator-trainer-profile-competences-of-the-trainer-in-translation.html.
Venuti, L. (2017). Teaching Translation: Programs, Courses, Pedagogies. Routledge.
Wellington, J. (2006). Secondary Education: The Key Concepts. Routledge.
Windschitl, M. (2002). Framing Constructivism in Practice as The Negotiation of Dilemmas: An Analysis of the Conceptual, Pedagogical, Cultural, and Political Challenges Facing Teachers. Review of Educational Research, 72 (2).